Flag of the Republic of Liberia
Flag of the Republic of Liberia
Photo Credit: ITSSD

Monday: November 25, 2019: The 43rd   Administrative and 17th Ministerial Council Meetings of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), has been officially concluded in Liberia, with Commerce and Industry Minister, Wilson K. Tarpeh, officially assuming the Chairmanship of ARIPO for a two-year term.

The Liberian Commerce Minister replaces Malawi’s Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Mr. Bright Msaka.

At the same time, the Director General of Liberia’s Intellectual Property Office,(LIPO), Atty. Adelyn Cooper, took over as Chairperson of the ARIPO Administrative Council, replacing Namelo Chikumbutso, also of Malawi.

In his brief acceptance statement, Professor Tarpeh, called  for an Intellectual Property Regime for the African Continent. Professor Tarpeh strongly believes that a good IP Regime for Africa will go a long way in maximizing the potentials of the Continent’s youthful talents.

The Liberian Commerce Minister described the African Continent as the leader in creativity. Minister Tarpeh also called on government representatives, local and international partners, as well as other stakeholders to develop Intellectual Property-related and friendly policies and laws in the interest of moving the African Continent forward, through a well-tailored IP transformation.

He made the call on Monday, November 18, at the Farmington Hotel in Margibi County during the opening of ARIPO’s 43RD Administrative Council Meeting and 17th Ministerial Conference, held November 18 to Friday, 22nd November, 2019.

The Liberian Commerce Minister, the guest of honor during the gathering, further called on political actors to ensure that there is a legal space that offers commercial  value and requisite recognition for Intellectual Property in Africa.

 Prof. Tarpeh is also of the strong conviction that the creation of incentives for the youthful populations of Africa will  stop what he termed as willing migration to slavery back to where “our parents fought for freedom.”
“We must act in the interest of IP now and provide the needed resource mobilization,” he told the gathering.

According to him, Intellectual Property is an elusive subject matter to first comers, and added that as government, Liberia was happy to play its rightful part as one of the oldest African Countries that helped in the building of the Civil African Society through the building of regional and international institutions.

He hailed ARIPO member countries and other partnering institutions, including his    for selecting Liberia as the venue for the meeting and vowed to build upon foundations laid by his predecessors at the level of ARIPO for the improvement of the Organization.

At the same time ARIPO’s Director General, Fernado  Dos Santos, disclosed that the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization has made progress in some areas. Mr. Dos Santos named the areas as generation and protection of Intellectual Property rights.

Speaking further, he said ARIPO, has passed the ‘why” identify the “how” to meet the commercial exploitation of IP rights and that they all have    seen the adverse effects of the lack of enforcement mechanisms of these protected rights.

 The ARIPO Director General noted that under his leadership, as “primus inter pares,” a Latin expression for “first amongst equals,” they are under obligation to share their thoughts, which could be translated into vision and policy if accepted by esteemed colleagues.

The ARIPO   meeting attracted speeches and presentations from a lot of stakeholders, including the Foreign Minister of Liberia, Gbezohngar Milton Findley, who deputized for Liberian Chief Executive, Dr. George Manneh Weah, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Malawi’s Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Mr. Bright Msaka, the Chairperson of ARIPO Administrative Council and Director General of Liberia’s Intellectual Property Office, Atty. Adelyn Cooper, the Representative of the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Mr. Marc Sery-Kore. Mr. Sery-Kore is also Director of the Africa Bureau.

Others who made presentations or  delivered speeches are the Director General of the African Intellectual Property Organization(AOPI),Mr. Dennis Bohoussou, the Secretary General of the African Seed Trade Association,(ASFTA),Mr.Justin Rakoaoriaona,the Representative of the International Union for Plant Variety Protection (UPOV), Ms.Yolanda Huerta, the Chief Executive Officer, Intellectual Property Office of Singarpore (IPOS),Mr. Darren Tang.

Others include the Deputy Commissioner of the Japan Paten Office, Mr. Kunihiko Shimano and the Representative of the of Patents, Registrar of Trade Marks and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian  Intellectual Property Office,Mr. Konstantinos Geogaras.


Jacob N.B. Parley
Communications Director
WhatsApps: 0881336137